In the 18th Century, James Stuart planted over 150 beech trees on the avenue leading to Gracehill House to impress guests as they approached his home. Now, over 200 years later, this avenue is one of the most photographed sites in Northern Ireland, known as The Dark Hedges.

Made famous by their appearance as The King’s Road in Game of Thrones where Arya Stark fled King’s Landing dressed as a boy, the Dark Hedges are still impressing visitors every day. In 2016, Storm Gertrude caused damage to the trees and the fallen trees have found new life as Doors of Thrones. These 10 doors are intricately carved to represent each episode from season 6 of Game of Thrones and are in locations around Northern Ireland, including one in the Hedges Hotel.

So many people come to see the Dark Hedges, including the ghost of the Grey Lady. The Grey Lady is said to flit from tree to tree and across the road and some believe her to be the daughter of James Stuart. Others say she is a maid who died suspiciously while in the service of the household…

Why don’t you step inside the dark hedges and see for yourself?


The beech trees that form 'The Dark Hedges' in Stranocum - Northern Ireland, were originally planted by James Stuart in the 18th century as a decorative feature along the once private road that led to his Georgian Mansion, Gracehill House. 

Two hundred years later and the grounds of Gracehill have become a golf course and the drive is now a beautiful, and somewhat haunting, public road.

The iconic Dark Hedges has become one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland and a popular attraction for tourists from across the world.  

Game of Thrones fans might recognize The Dark Hedges as "The Kings Road" when it was featured in the premiere of season two as Arya Stark flees from her enemies down this spooky avenue, dressed as a boy and riding in a cart. 

The road is reputedly haunted by a spectral ‘Grey Lady’ who appears at dusk among the trees. Haunting this thin ribbon of road that winds beneath the ancient beech trees. She silently glides along the roadside and disappears as she passes the very last beech tree. 

Recently a Ballycastle man visiting the area, claims to have captured an apparition on camera. Gordon Watson took this photograph at the Hedges and when he downloaded the image from his camera, he was amazed to find the wispy, grey shape in the center which appears to be a grey figure floating in the air.

Professional local photographer Kevin McAuley examined the photograph and stated that there was no way the image had been digitally enhanced in any way.

Kevin said: “It looks like a dress going towards the shape of a figure and it’s at this end of the trees where the Grey Lady has been seen by a variety of people over the years" he added, "This is the only known version ever to have been recorded in any fashion”

Could this be the ghost of the Grey Lady? 

Some say the spectre is the ghost of a maid from the nearby house who died in mysterious circumstances centuries ago.

Others believe that she is a lost spirit from an abandoned graveyard that is thought to lie hidden in the fields nearby.

On Halloween night, the forgotten graves are said to open and the Grey Lady is joined on her walk by the tormented souls of those who were buried beside her.